To believe my dc

(9 Posts)
123lekl Wed 04-May-16 06:48:59

My ds is nearly 4 and can be a handful/lively at times at home but is largely well behaved at nursery. His poor behaviour at nursery has included incidents like not sharing (twice) and unravelling an entire toilet roll!
At home he has been through a smacking and scratching phase (nightmare but never ever at nursery!) although it's a lot better now and occasionally he has smacked his older brothers when they've wound him up- these are followed by a sanction such as removing a toy or time out etc.
Earlier this week at nursery he bit someone and understandably he got in trouble. However, ds insisted the other child bit him first and it's obvious nursery didn't believe him. Now when ds has smacked his brothers in the past (never another child his age) he always admits it, knows it's not an acceptable behaviour and has never lied before. He's also never bitten before or shown any signs of using his mouth, even went he went through his scratching phase. I am not justifying ds biting and we've had strong words with him but he was very upset that only he got into trouble and has stuck to his story about biting in retaliation - again when he's got into scuffles with his older brothers it's often that he retaliates when they wind him up (I have a house full of boys so there is lots of winding up and wrestling etc but never biting sad)
I'm not going to charge in and moan at nursery but aibu to think that ds might be telling the truth?

123lekl Wed 04-May-16 06:50:13

Meant to say he's largely well behaved at home too- especially over the past 6 months - and certainly no longer in his toddler scratching phase

NapQueen Wed 04-May-16 06:53:03

I think if he is not one for lying then Id believe him too, however I wouldnt change the reprimand. At the end of the day he bit. Whether that was him doing it first or as retaliation; he needs to know biting is wrong regardless.

123lekl Wed 04-May-16 06:54:41

I agree NapQueen and have said that if anyone ever hurts him at nursery he has to tell the teacher because it's just as wrong for him to do it back. I'm mortified- I've got a house full of lively sons but never had a biting incident in over a decade sad

Birdsgottafly Wed 04-May-16 06:55:28

Has he already gone through the 'tail telling' (basically lying) phase that happens at around 4?

I'm not saying that this is the case, but I'd let it go and stick to telling your DS that he must report biting/hitting to a member of staff, not retaliate, likewise at home.

It might have been in answer to him getting bitten, but he is still responsible for him being told off.

Things aren't always 100% fair, that's why it's better if we follow the rules.

pearlylum Wed 04-May-16 07:01:19

I agree wit h the others- biting is always wrong.
Physical retaliation will not be accepted by a school, that is considered wrong.

You say he retaliates when others "wind him up"- so can he be the first to become physical? In that case he will be seen as the troublemaker.
He needs to learn to tell an adult if he is being hit or teased, to learn to walk away from verbal taunts and control his temper.

Catsize Wed 04-May-16 07:27:27

Yanbu. These apparent injustices seem so unfair at the time but we probably all do the same thing as parents - jump to conclusions about what one child has done to another and why.
I remember a huge sense of injustice when I went to a new school aged 6, some girls made up a horrible story about something I had supposedly done and the teacher believed them. I got in heaps of trouble with the teacher in front of the whole class. I can still remember the feeling now.
It is probably things like that, and the injustice I encountered at home (violent father, but it was always my fault etc.), that led to me becoming a barrister. Not sure this was an entirely good move - I now witness injustice on a far more regular basis!

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Wed 04-May-16 07:32:03

Is there a mark on him where the other kids bit him?

We had a similar thing with dd. She hadn't told nursery staff, but kept telling me 'fred' bit my finger. My finger hurty where fred bited it. Quick look at finger revealed large flap of skin....
Catch him off guard. Ask him about what he was doing before the incident. He will probably say something like

I was painting a truck. I had done the red doors and wanted black for the wheels. I got the black, then fred wanted it and grabbed it out of my hand. I said no, you need to wait for your turn. Then he bit me.

They sort of carry on telling.

I would believe him.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Wed 04-May-16 07:37:05

Poor kid - its hard handling unfairness and being the only one blamed when somebody else committed the same "crime" first, especially when you are only 4!

"He'll have to learn to walk away from verbal taunts and tell an adult if he is being hit or teased" is also a big ask of a 4 year old, and also (more importantly) sadly often not the perfect solution we try to tell our kids it will be...

Obviously the problem is though, that there is no perfect way to handle unpleasantness between kids which has not been directly witnessed from the absolute start by the responsible adult.Given this stuff almost always goes on out of the teacher's direct gaze or hearing often only the children will really know what went on and who is telling the truth. Kids who taunt or hit first usually do know that...

I'd believe him and tell him so and sympathise, but agree there isn't much you can actually do - explain to him how the "system" of dealing with incidence like this usually works and talk about what he thinks would be the best thing to do if it happens again and make sure he is telling you and the lines of communication stay open.

Its a part of growing up that really sucks - learning the rotten lesson that life is unfair.

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